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  1. Abstract. Coupled physical–biogeochemical models can fill thespatial and temporal gap in ocean carbon observations. Challenges ofapplying a coupled physical–biogeochemical model in the regional oceaninclude the reasonable prescription of carbon model boundary conditions,lack of in situ observations, and the oversimplification of certainbiogeochemical processes. In this study, we applied a coupledphysical–biogeochemical model (Regional Ocean Modelling System, ROMS) to theGulf of Mexico (GoM) and achieved an unprecedented 20-year high-resolution(5 km, 1/22∘) hindcast covering the period of 2000 to 2019. Thebiogeochemical model incorporated the dynamics of dissolved organic carbon(DOC) pools and the formation and dissolution of carbonate minerals. Thebiogeochemical boundaries were interpolated from NCAR's CESM2-WACCM-FV2solution after evaluating the performance of 17 GCMs in the GoM waters. Modeloutputs included carbon system variables of wide interest, such aspCO2, pH, aragonite saturation state (ΩArag), calcitesaturation state (ΩCalc), CO2 air–sea flux, and carbon burialrate. The model's robustness is evaluated via extensive model–datacomparison against buoys, remote-sensing-based machine learning (ML)products, and ship-based measurements. A reassessment of air–sea CO2flux with previous modeling and observational studies gives us confidencethat our model provides a robust and updated CO2 flux estimation, andNGoM is a stronger carbon sink than previously reported. Model resultsreveal that the GoM water has been experiencing a ∼ 0.0016 yr−1 decrease in surface pHmore »over the past 2 decades, accompanied by a∼ 1.66 µatm yr−1 increase in sea surfacepCO2. The air–sea CO2 exchange estimation confirms in accordance with severalprevious models and ocean surface pCO2 observations that theriver-dominated northern GoM (NGoM) is a substantial carbon sink, and theopen GoM is a carbon source during summer and a carbon sink for the rest ofthe year. Sensitivity experiments are conducted to evaluate the impacts ofriver inputs and the global ocean via model boundaries. The NGoM carbonsystem is directly modified by the enormous carbon inputs (∼ 15.5 Tg C yr−1 DIC and ∼ 2.3 Tg C yr−1 DOC) from theMississippi–Atchafalaya River System (MARS). Additionally,nutrient-stimulated biological activities create a ∼ 105 timeshigher particulate organic matter burial rate in NGoM sediment than in thecase without river-delivered nutrients. The carbon system condition of theopen ocean is driven by inputs from the Caribbean Sea via the Yucatan Channeland is affected more by thermal effects than biological factors.« less
  2. Environmental temperature is a widely used variable to describe weather and climate conditions. The use of temperature anomalies to identify variations in climate and weather systems makes temperature a key variable to evaluate not only climate variability but also shifts in ecosystem structural and functional properties. In contrast to terrestrial ecosystems, the assessment of regional temperature anomalies in coastal wetlands is more complex since the local temperature is modulated by hydrology and weather. Thus, it is unknown how the regional free-air temperature (T Free ) is coupled to local temperature anomalies, which can vary across interfaces among vegetation canopy, water, and soil that modify the wetland microclimate regime. Here, we investigated the temperature differences (offsets) at those three interfaces in mangrove-saltmarsh ecotones in coastal Louisiana and South Florida in the northern Gulf of Mexico (2017–2019). We found that the canopy offset (range: 0.2–1.6°C) between T Free and below-canopy temperature (T Canopy ) was caused by the canopy buffering effect. The similar offset values in both Louisiana and Florida underscore the role of vegetation in regulating near-ground energy fluxes. Overall, the inundation depth did not influence soil temperature (T Soil ). The interaction between frequency and duration of inundation, however, significantlymore »modulated T Soil given the presence of water on the wetland soil surface, thus attenuating any short- or long-term changes in the T Canopy and T Free . Extreme weather events—including cold fronts and tropical cyclones—induced high defoliation and weakened canopy buffering, resulting in long-term changes in canopy or soil offsets. These results highlight the need to measure simultaneously the interaction between ecological and climatic processes to reduce uncertainty when modeling macro- and microclimate in coastal areas under a changing climate, especially given the current local temperature anomalies data scarcity. This work advances the coupling of Earth system models to climate models to forecast regional and global climate change and variability along coastal areas.« less
  3. We adapted the coupled ocean-sediment transport model to the northern Gulf of Mexico to examine sediment dynamics on seasonal-to-decadal time scales as well as its response to decreased fluvial inputs from the Mississippi-Atchafalaya River. Sediment transport on the shelf exhibited contrasting conditions in a year, with strong westward transport in spring, fall, and winter, and relatively weak eastward transport in summer. Sedimentation rate varied from almost zero on the open shelf to more than 10 cm/year near river mouths. A phase shift in river discharge was detected in 1999 and was associated with the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) event, after which, water and sediment fluxes decreased by ~20% and ~40%, respectively. Two sensitivity tests were carried out to examine the response of sediment dynamics to high and low river discharge, respectively. With a decreased fluvial supply, sediment flux and sedimentation rate were largely reduced in areas proximal to the deltas, which might accelerate the land loss in down-coast bays and estuaries. The results of two sensitivity tests indicated the decreased river discharge would largely affect sediment balance in waters around the delta. The impact from decreased fluvial input was minimum on the sandy shoals ~100 km west of the Mississippimore »Delta, where deposition of fluvial sediments was highly affected by winds.« less
  4. Abstract

    Sea level rise and intense hurricane events make the East and Gulf Coasts of the United States increasingly vulnerable to flooding, which necessitates the development of computational models for accurate water level simulation in these areas to safeguard the coastal wellbeing. With this regard, a model framework for water level simulation over coastal transition zone during hurricane events is built in this study. The model takes advantage of the National Water Model’s strength in simulating rainfall–runoff process, and D‐Flow Flexible Mesh’s ability to support unstructured grid in hydrodynamic processes simulation with storm surges/tides information from the Advanced CIRCulation model. We apply the model on the Delaware Estuary to simulate extreme water level and to investigate the contribution of different physical components to it during Hurricane Isabel (2003). The model shows satisfactory performance with an average Willmott skill of 0.965. Model results suggest that storm surge is the most dominating component of extreme water level with an average contribution of 78.16%, second by the astronomical tide with 19.52%. While the contribution of rivers is mainly restricted to the upper part of the estuary upstream of Schuylkill River, local wind‐induced water level is more pronounced with values larger than 0.2 m overmore »most part of the estuary.

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